Is your child's crib safe? Not just the one in your home, but the one at his or her daycare or at a hotel or resort when you're on vacation?
The CPSC has recalled 11 million cribs, bassinets and play-pens since 2007. Because of those concerns, new, tougher crib safety rules go into effect on December 28 for child care facilities, family child care homes, and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels.
The Consumer Child Safety Commission says the new standards rival any in the world. They include: stronger slats with only a two-finger width between them, prohibiting traditional drop-side cribs from being manufactured, crib hardware must have anti-loosening devices to keep it from coming loose or falling off, and improved mattress supports.
"We passed the new standard about 18 months ago. Giving hotel, motels and childcare facilities advance notice," said CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tannenbaum. "So they have, over the past 18 months, been taking the old cribs out and replacing them with the cribs that have the new, stronger standard."
After December 28, places of public accommodation may no longer use traditional drop-side cribs or noncompliant cribs and must use cribs meeting the new federal safety standards.
"Over the past several years, we've found out children suffocated," says CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tannenbaum. "The drop down detached from the crib."
The CPSC also encourages parents to voluntarily check the recall list, just to be safe.
"We have a new standard that rivals any in the world," said Tannenbaum. "And we are so proud our babies are safe in their sleeping environment."
Daycares and hotels are encouraged to look at the new requirements and make sure they are ready for the deadline. The effort also includes new warnings for parents to remove loose bedding, including pillows and thick quilts, from cribs.
Here are some general guidelines from the CPSC:
- To prevent suffocation, never place pillows or thick quilts in a baby's sleep environment.
- Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
- Proper assembly of cribs is paramount - Follow the instructions provided and make sure that every part is installed correctly. If you are not sure, call the manufacturer for assistance.
- Do not use cribs older than 10 years or broken or modified cribs. Infants can strangle to death if their bodies pass through gaps between loose components or broken slats while their heads remain entrapped.
- Set up play yards properly according to manufacturers' directions. Only use the mattress pad provided with the play yard; do not add extra padding.
- Never place a crib near a window with blind, curtain cords or baby monitor cords; babies can strangle on cords.